UK to introduce smart ticketing by end of next year
The Government of UK has unveiled details of a £80m programme to introduce smart ticketing across England and Wales by the end of next year.
The programme is to be carried out by the Department for Transport (DfT) and will see the introduction of mobile barcode ticketing on every rail franchise in the country, as well as a smart card for use with passengers' smartphones that will eliminate the need for paper tickets.
A pilot project for the smart card initiative is scheduled to be rolled out in the next four months.
DfT is also working with the Rail Delivery Group on different plans to launch latest ticketing systems in order to provide customers with more customisable options for payment, as well as reduced costs and the ability to procure better deals.
UK Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said: “Passengers across the country want smart ticketing and this government will deliver it.
“This significant investment will ensure that passengers across the network can use mobile phones, bar codes and smart cards across almost all of the network by the end of next year.”
Discussions with train companies regarding the introduction of mobile phone smart cards are currently at an advanced stage, and agreements with three operators are expected to be signed soon.
The mobile phone smart cards and mobile barcode tickets will be interoperable across different franchises in England and Wales.
The pay-as-you-go travel is currently being rolled-out across the rail network, along with the introduction of a contactless travel card by Govia Thameslink Railway known as KeyGo.
Passengers can use the KeyGo system throughout the entire Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern network, which span from Cambridge to Brighton.